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People Development and Engagement Lead

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, United States of America Req #70
Friday, January 12, 2024

The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work and may come from several different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you believe you must meet every qualification for the position.


About the Opportunity:

The People Development and Engagement Lead is responsible for assessing Academy-wide developmental needs to drive learning initiatives for employees and arrange development plans so they are suitable for employees. This position actively searches, creatively designs, and implements effective methods to train, develop, and enhance the skills and performance of Academy employees. In this role, you will have the autonomy to pilot new ideas and be accountable for creating and implementing measurable employee engagement initiatives. You will deliver scalable solutions and mechanisms to improve the employment experience at the Academy.


This position will be responsible for building and driving a strategy reporting on the Voice of the Employee (VoE) that identifies opportunities to enhance the employee experience then owns resulting strategies that further enable Academy’s culture and talent growth. This position will enhance and facilitate the myriad of ways employees develop and grow their careers and skills.


This full-time, exempt position reports to the Director of People Experience.

Organizational Culture:
Join a team dedicated to the Academy’s mission, vision, and values! Currently, the Academy has a new strategic plan including three initiatives – Hope for Reefs, Thriving California, and Islands 2030 – that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The mission of the California Academy of Sciences is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. 

This position is based in San Francisco, California. Staff are expected to work from the Academy offices at least 2 days per week, which may fluctuate based on business needs. Please only apply if you are able to also work onsite. Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy. 

About the People & Culture Team (PACT):
The People & Culture team collaborates across the Academy to: 1) build a thriving culture in which all staff members feel cared for and respected, with opportunities for growth: and 2) deeply connect employees to the Academy’s purpose of regenerating the natural world.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Leads the development and continuous management of comprehensive learning and development plans, ensuring alignment with business objectives
  • Conducts assessments and analyzes to define performance, skill, and knowledge gaps to develop programs aimed at driving individual and organizational capabilities
  • Collaborates with the People & Culture Team and other stakeholders to enhance employee engagement programs through annual and pulse surveys, town halls, and other means
  • Designs and implements an engagement strategy that cultivates a positive, open and innovative culture
  • Develops competency-based learning pathways
  • Leads Manager roundtables and lunch and learns 
  • Facilitates Employee Resource Group structure and collaborates with DEI consultant on embedding our culture compact principles and goals into ongoing L&E work
  • Plans, organizes, and facilitates ongoing employee development and People and Culture engagement calendar
  • Ensures employees have knowledge of development and engagement events and resources
  • Conducts follow-up studies of all completed learning to evaluate and measure results and modifies programs as needed
  • Sets KPIs and goals, and tracks measurable deliverables to understand the effectiveness of our educational and engagement efforts as we grow
  • Supports our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion goals and incorporates those goals into trainings, facilitation, learning and engagement roadmaps, and overall strategy
  • Ensures the development, integration, and adoption of inclusive approaches to all learning and engagement programs
  • Explores, cultivates, manages, and expands vendor relationships, as needed
  • Leverages internal and external data to provide deep analysis and insight
  • Earns trust with key stakeholders by diving deep into business challenges and partnering on solutions
  • Coordinates with cross-functional stakeholders to ensure content brand consistency, alignment, and efficiency across L&E communications
  • Adapts material to a variety of multimedia training platforms and methods


Experience and Education:

  • Bachelor's degree in HR, Communications, Education, or relevant field
  • Minimum of five years of experience designing and implementing employee learning and engagement initiatives/programs
  • Strong experience with content development, specifically leveraging Learning Management Systems (LMS) and authoring/curriculum development and management tools, learning experience platforms (LXP), and content authoring tools

Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to design and implement effective training and development courses for new and shifting needs
  • Experience with leading and monitoring employee engagement surveys, tools, and trends
  • Very comfortable facilitating cross-functional and cross-level discussions
  • Ability to synthesize data, learnings, and recommendations to provide executive summaries as needed
  • Fluent in English, with excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Outstanding communication, listening, facilitation, and presentation skills–you are comfortable in a room or presenting content digitally
  • Ability to quickly and efficiently synthesize and deliver information in digestible ways
  • Strong understanding of adult learning principles, with a demonstrated track record of success in developing, delivering, measuring, and improving L&D programs
  • A flexible, adaptable professional in the face of ambiguity - you’re not afraid to take an intelligent risk or change direction
  • Strong understanding and interest in engaging in the intersection of DEI work with managerial leadership training in fostering team environments that are diverse, inclusive and psychologically safe
  • Ability to evaluate and research training options and alternatives
  • Are self-motivated and can work independently to meet deadlines and produce quality
  • results without frequent supervision
  • Enjoys problem solving and can maintain flexibility to adapt during change
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects simultaneously with ease
  • Equally comfortable leading quick wins as well as long-term planning

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience designing competency-based learning frameworks by job family
  • Demonstrated ability to design curricula with a continuous-learning approach

This job description is subject to change as our team continues to grow and evolve – we hope you’ll be

excited to evolve with us as we scale and increase our impact.


Physical Environment:
The Academy complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact our People & Culture team at

  • Ability to perform repetitive motions 80% of the time.

Compensation and Benefits
Starting salary will vary based on experience and relevant skills/knowledge set. The Academy offers a total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits based on the hours per week worked.

Review of applications will begin on January 16, 2024 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis and continue until the position is filled.

Interested candidates should submit a resume and optional cover letter through our Careers Page portal.

The Academy is committed to creating a diverse team and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We know that representation matters in the workplace, and with our partners to that end, we are committed to a hiring process grounded in equity and inclusion. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, citizenship or immigration status, national origin, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, political ideology, the presence of any physical, mental or sensory disability, age, or any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49). Read our full Equal Opportunity Statement here.

Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
  • Employment Indicator Regular FT
  • Min Hiring Rate $105,000.00
  • Max Hiring Rate $120,000.00
Location on Google Maps
  • California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, United States of America